VIDEO: INSTALLING AN ARB BULLBAR
When setting up the 4WD, it’s important to think about the distribution of weight and how that weight will affect the suspension and overall ride quality. That’s why Max Taylor, Editor of Caravan World Magazine, had ARB install the new ARB bullbar on our 4WD tow vehicle.
Ruby, or the 4.5L 80 Series Toyota LandCruiser, was fitted with the ARB Bullbar at the same time as being fitted for new Old Man Emu dampeners and coils from ARB. She runs on dual fuel, has an auto gearbox and her panels are dead-straight.
The alloy bar, with two cracked welds, had to go. But because steel adds more weight than alloy, it was best to fit the new bar in conjunction with the new suspension. The ARB team made quick work of changing over Ruby’s alloy bullbar with a steel unit specially designed for the 80 Series. While the old bar was attached to the chassis using a couple of brackets of questionable strength, the new one was bolted directly over the main chassis rails. A great improvement.
When they were done, Ruby was starting to take shape – in terms of appearance but, more importantly, safety. With new tyres, new suspension, and now some decent front-end protection, she’ll be ready for almost anything that comes her way when she finally hits the road.
Whether a 4WD looks ‘tough’ or not with a new bar is, at the end of the day, of secondary importance. A well-engineered bullbar is essential for ensuring the safety of passengers in a vehicle intended for offroad use, as well as for protecting the vehicle itself. Front-end protection is critical if you plan on touring outback highways or anywhere off the beaten track.
Each bar is made from 2.6mm steel tubing cut to the suitable length. There’s a lot more to the process, including laser-cutting other components from flat steel sheeting, folding them with a CNC machine, and robot welding and grinding. To finish, each bar is steel shot blasted, bathed in a solution of phosphate, powder-coated and oven-baked.
The ARB’s bars are airbag-compatible, and engineered to spread the load evenly across the chassis. The bars have been tested and rated to handle multiple forces. The whole point of a bullbar is to keep your vehicle completely mobile after it’s had a kangaroo strike, so when it comes to strength, steel well and truly out performs any other material. The bullbar fits the shape of the 80 series really well, so with this installed you should feel ready to hit the trail.